FBC Care Center helps needy
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 14:10
Student loans, insurance expenses and bills that college students have to pay may leave some desperate for help with necessities such as food and clothing. The Care Center of First Baptist Church Jonesboro is involved in providing families and/or individuals that are in need with services, including college students.
Hannah Fulmer, a senior math major of Vilonia and volunteer at the center, said the program offers up to one hot meal a day as well as clothes and groceries once a week.
Fulmer has volunteered at the Care Center since her freshman year when she began attending FBC. After being a part of the program for so long, Fulmer said she loves the flexibility and feels it is also a way she can participate in her university ministry which supports the center.
“It’s kind of our super easy way to help out with ministry,” Fulmer said.
Fulmer also said there are no qualifications to become a volunteer at the Care Center.
If students are interested in volunteering, Fulmer said they should contact Kathy Holler, the director of the Care Center and the minister of special ministries at FBC. Holler said she estimates 40-50 A-State students have been helped throughout the year.
Bruce Tippit, senior pastor at FBC, said all an individual has to do in order to be eligible is bring in any form of ID and their Social Security card. The time to apply would be between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, and students can also apply for help.
Tippit also said the majority of the food is purchased through the church, although some may be donated by several retail restaurants, grocery stores and fast food establishments. Ninety percent of the clothing is used and usually donated, Tippit said.
Tippit said the center receives a lot of support with volunteers through the university program, youth ministry and the rotating system that allows volunteers to be dedicated without feeling overwhelmed.
Around 55,000 instances of services have taken place at the Care Center, Tippit said. He added this number didn’t symbolize 55,000 different individuals, but the number of times a service was provided, such as providing a meal, groceries or clothes.
“Some may come four times a month or once a day for a meal,” Tippit said.
Although the program is a ministry within itself, Tippit said the workers do try to take advantage of the opportunity to share their biblical reasons for conducting the program, although this was usually on a “case-by-case basis.”
“We are not unconcerned about that, it’s just part of the problem is the building doesn’t offer any room for private conversations,” Tippit said.
However, Tippit said the church is looking and planning to expand the center so the opportunities for the one-on-one privacy would be more available, as well as more room for the ministry to grow.
The Care Center’s website said volunteer work could entail preparing immediate meals such as sandwiches, working in the clothing room or filling grocery orders. The volunteer work takes place Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As for donating, the center’s website listed several options from contributing clothing (which they prefer in to be in season because of space) to giving any and all kinds of foods as well as monetary donations.
If students have further questions about volunteering, applying for benefit from the program, or specifics about how to donate, contact Kathy Holler at 870-932-1872. The Care Center’s direct page may be accessed at http://www.fbcjonesboro.org/#/missionministries/care-center.